Beam me up: Bridge lift meets strict timetable

03/06/2021
Chris Ames

Six bridge beams with a total weight of 420 tonnes have been lifted into place on the King’s Dyke rail and road project.

The bridge, which goes over the Ely to Peterborough railway line on the A605, is the largest structure in the King’s Dyke level crossing scheme and part of the road bypass, which also includes an underpass for a private access road.

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, the contractor appointed by Cambridgeshire County Council, used a 1,000 tonne mobile crane to move the six 33m-long, 70 tonne beams into place.

The total weight is equivalent to three times that of the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Construction manager at Jones Bros, Rhydian Hafal, said: ‘It’s really satisfying to see a big part of a project like this go from the drawing board and onto the ground.

‘Moving parts for structures of this size requires co-ordinated working to a strict timetable as the railway was closed for a set window, with the team working with absolute precision to achieve it.

‘Following the beam lift, the team managed to maximise use of the time available while the railway was closed to install the precast concrete units that sit along the edge of the outer beams, alongside other components. This means we can now concentrate on constructing the deck.’

Peter McDonald, chair of the council’s Highways and Transport Committee, said: ‘It’s great to hear the team successfully installed the beams last weekend and another milestone on this project has been achieved.

Jones Bros said work on other elements of the project has also been progressing well with the partial filling of Star Pit, the former quarry which adjoins the site, now at the point where the whole area being filled is now above the quarry’s water line.

The scheme is due to open to traffic by the end of 2022.

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